New Exhibit: The Creatures of Shaw Nature Reserve

February 26, 2014

If you’ve been following my blog for long, you know I spend a fair amount of time photographing critters at Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve (SNR), only a few miles from our home. Last fall, I conspired with Lydia Toth, Education Manager, to assemble an exhibit of wildlife photographs I have taken at SNR over the years. My task would be to whittle hundreds of keeper images down to 16 photographs for the display. I didn’t think it would be too difficult until I started the process.

After the first cut, I was down to 50 images, each of which I loved as much as the other. I was in trouble—not quite Sophie’s choice, but you know what I mean. As always, I consulted with Joyce to complete the task. Together we began making cuts with an eye for overall diversity in the exhibit. In other words, “A lot of bird images didn’t make it on the boat!”

The selection process took a few days but we finally had 16 thumbnails left and I began the printing process, 11 x 14 format on Canon semi-gloss paper. Next, the framing began, a process I loathe, but I only completed two or three a day to keep my grumpiness to a minimum. Eventually I was finished and I dropped the beauties off at SNR where they will be displayed at the Bascom House.

The American goldfinch, one of the selections for the exhibit, is a common sight at Shaw Nature Reserve and I find them captivating when in fall molt. Goldfinches and other fall songbirds have no trouble finding food at SNR as the prairie forbs complete their cycle from stunning flowers to energy-filled seeds. The 2400-acre natural area provides a variety of habitats for photography but I always find myself somewhere on the prairie before I call it a day.

The second image, also featured in the exhibit, was my favorite image of 2013, a simple shot of two young squirrels taking one of their first looks at the world where they will be participating in arboreal shenanigans in months to come, or at least until they cross paths with one of SNR’s resident hawks.


The exhibit begins this weekend and we plan to have a simple reception with soft drinks and snacks on Sunday afternoon, March 2, from 2 to 4. I look forward to seeing some of you, and if the weather is agreeable I might even bring some of my blinds and other photography gear for show and tell. Speaking of weather, I’ll send out a special post if we decide to cancel the reception because of snow or ice. For more information about Shaw Nature Reserve, go to this link.

I almost forgot to mention, the photographs at the exhibit will be for sale at a special low exhibit price. I’m sure the staff at SNR would appreciate it if you delayed pick-up until the exhibit is over, but we can simply pull a piece right off the wall if you are so inclined.

Thanks for looking,


Email me at:  NatureFrames@Rocketmail.Com

4 comments on “New Exhibit: The Creatures of Shaw Nature Reserve”

  1. Wow, that should be a Shaw Nature Reserve treasure house! I think you’re going to have a sellout exhibition 😀 Sorry for the frame-grumpiness…why does that happen?

  2. Greetings Danny, from sunny California. What a great shot of that Golden Finch feeding, and I especially like the photo of the two baby squirrels, taking a look out of there nest in the tree. I am going to try to make it to your exhibit on Sunday, providing time permits. I get back this weekend. Hope to get there.


    • Hi Art…..Nice to hear from you. Sorry to report the exhibit is cancelled for impending inclement weather.

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